How Emotions Influence Our Daily Work

We have emotions all the time, especially in the workplace. They help us cope with life, inspire us or make us ill.

Your boss has once again snapped at you aggressively. You feel like a wet blanket. Angry and sad at the same time. Emotions overtake you and you can hardly work for a while.

Emotions Are More than Feelings

We often use "emotion" synonymously with "feeling." The experts, however, consider feelings to be part of emotion. Emotion additionally includes physical reactions and thought processes.

Physical reactions to emotions are for example:

  • sadness -> crying
  • joy -> laughing
  • fear -> sweating
  • shame -> blushing

Emotions Help Us to Decide

Emotions help us to make quick decisions. For example, when we spot a dangerous animal, we get scared and take flight. When we receive a nice gift, we express our gratitude.

Therefore, for experts thinking and acting is an integral part of emotion.

Emotions Are Universal

Research has shown that the basic emotions of anger, fear, disgust, joy, sadness, surprise and contempt exist in all human societies and are expressed in the same way. Incidentally, animals also feel emotions.

Here Is a List of More Emotions

  • Hate
  • Jealousy
  • Envy
  • Remorse
  • Loneliness
  • Despair
  • Disappointment
  • Pride
  • Satisfaction
  • Happiness
  • Gratitude
  • Confidence
  • Affection

Emotions originate in our brain. It generates emotions all the time, but only when they enter the cerebral cortex do we become aware of them.

We often do not experience emotions in their pure form, but rather they are mixed together. Like the fear and anger in the example above.

Emotions Influence how We Work

Emotions often run high, especially at work. When they are strong, they also strongly influence our work.

Those who are praised by the boss will continue to work inspired. Those who are beaten down will be unmotivated afterwards. That's why it's important that we can handle our emotions well.

Emotions Are Visible

Since emotions also express themselves physically, you can hardly hide them. So you have to live with the fact that they are visible. But others feel the same way – and emotions are what make us human.

When emotions are missing, we are no longer in the right place in life. In a severe depression, for example, those affected feel completely empty.

From Fleeting Emotion to Emotional State

Normally, emotions come quickly and disappear just as quickly. We are startled by something, realize that it is harmless, and calm down again immediately.

Sometimes, however, emotions just don't go away. When we are in love, we can enjoy it to the fullest.

If, on the other hand, unpleasant emotions such as fear, sadness or jealousy stubbornly stick around, this is very unpleasant. In this case, experts speak of emotional state. The term "mood" also sums it up well.

Emotions Can Make Us Ill

In an emotional state, we often try to avoid situations with which we have had bad experiences. We isolate ourselves and become lonely. But this does not solve the basic problem.

If a negative emotional state persists, it can stress us, deprive us of sleep and, in the worst case, make us ill. We plunge into depression, develop an anxiety disorder, or are driven into addiction. Extreme emotional events can also trigger trauma.

You Can Influence Your Emotions

Fortunately, emotions can be influenced. That's why you can help people who suffer from emotional conditions or have become ill from them.

We recommend our web app "Do something?!". It helps you in a playful way to better deal with your negative emotions (see link box).

Webapp "Etwas tun?!" (in German)


Hansjörg Schmid

Hansjörg Schmid

More on work and health